Part of the "Traditional Religious Tales" series, this collection of eight Biblical stories and one tale from the Holocaust ranges from the story of creation, to Moses (three stories about him), to Esther, to Bergen Belsen concentration camp. The tales are told clearly, if stiffly. They are accompanied by sidebars, entitled "Did you know?" that provide related facts or anecdotes. Vivid watercolors illustrate the nine stories; photographs accompany many of the sidebars. A glossary is a helpful addition.
Nine stories found in the New Testament are retold, some of which include "The Birth of Jesus," "The Good Samaritan," "The Prodigal Son," and "The Story of Easter." The dramatic material of these stories is rendered dull and lifeless in this retelling. In the story "Calming the Storm," we read, "Many of the disciples were hardy fishermen. They were used to storms and had seen many of them before, but they had never known anything as bad as this. Now they were frightened for their lives, sure that they were going to drown." The illustrations portray Jesus as ascetic and fully human. Bright watercolor illustrations and sidebars with small, current day photographs add interest to the text. Each sidebar asks the question "Did you know?" and gives further facts or interpretation. There is a glossary, lists to learn more, and an index. This is one of the "Traditional Religious Tales" series. Libraries will find more exciting literature elsewhere. 2006 (orig. 2001), Picture Window Books/Evans Brothers Limited, Ages 8 to 12.
Anita Ganeri is an award-winning author of information books for children. Educated at Cambridge University, she has written more than 300 books, including the best-selling 'Horrible Geography' series (Scholastic Children's Books) which won a 2009 Blue Peter Book Award. She writes widely on animals and the natural world. A recent title for Raintree, A Day in the Life of Rainforest Animals: Capybara, has been shortlisted for a Maryland Blue Crab Award 2012. Anita lives in the north of England with her husband, children and assorted pets.